There Is Hope: A Straightforward Guide to Bankruptcy and Divorce

Going through a divorce can be taxing in numerous ways, especially when dealing with bankruptcy simultaneously or shortly thereafter. April Randle Law is committed to providing the best legal advice for those seeking a new start through bankruptcy, including cases where a divorce is involved, along with child support and alimony. There are many different circumstances involving bankruptcy and divorce, but we hope that the information here can help guide you through the different scenarios and stages that you may face.

Bankruptcy After Divorce

It's no secret that financial strain is hard on a marriage. Debt, or even just the lack of money, can create a divide between couples. Many may find themselves facing bankruptcy shortly after a divorce is finalized, but you can make it through. Bankruptcy is not a death sentence; rather, it can be a new start for a new you. Here are some helpful tips to guide you through bankruptcy after divorce:

  • Communicate with Your Bankruptcy Attorney.
    • Find a bankruptcy attorney who has experience with cases involving divorce. For the best possible outcome you will want to communicate clearly with your attorney, disclosing all financial information and the details of your divorce. Now is not the time to withhold information due to pride or shame. Your attorney will work with you to get you back on your feet.
  • Adapt to Lifestyle Changes.
    • Many divorcées were once stay-at-home parents prior to their divorce. Make sure that you have a plan for bringing in a salary on your own. Now is the time to start fresh, but you may need to accept the fact that you will have to make lifestyle changes and change your spending habits in order to begin building back your credit. Talk with a financial advisor to determine what is needed for you to become financially stable once again.
  • Create a Budget
    • Living outside your means will not help you get back on your feet. You may be tempted to continue to give your children the lifestyle they had before the divorce and bankruptcy, but you must think about your family's well-being. This includes making a budget to help you have enough money for the necessities, as well as putting away money for the future. Now more than ever, it's important to have a budget in place and stick to it.

Child Support & Alimony

If your former spouse was supporting your family with their income, then you may be entitled to monthly support after divorce with alimony payments. Fortunately for the supported, bankruptcy does not absolvethe supporter from paying alimony and child support. Even if you declared bankruptcy at the same time as your divorce proceedings, this will not change the fact that the supporting spouse will be responsible for making alimony and child support payments.

There is the possibility that the alimony payments are altered based off supporting party's current financial standing-their earning capacity, actual cash flow, assets, and standard of living-as a result of bankruptcy. If you have any other questions about how bankruptcy can affect domestic support, such as alimony and child support, then please do not hesitate to contact a bankruptcy attorney.

Moving Forward After Bankruptcy

Experiencing both divorce and bankruptcy simultaneously, or one shortly after the other, can be incredibly stressful and exhausting. You may come out the other end feeling battered and broken, but you can recover. It's important to remember that you are not alone; there are thousands of others who have gone or are going through a similar situation. Once your divorce is final and you have received a full discharge of debt through bankruptcy, there are ways you can begin to rebuild:

  • Leave the Past Where It Belongs.
    • It's understandable that you may want to indulge in something or rehash the past, having survived a bankruptcy and divorce, but stay strong. The road will get a lot better if you are prepared to move forward with a newfound determination to turn things around. Rather than focusing on the past, focus instead on what will help you rebuild yourself and your credit.
  • Pay Your Bills Promptly.
    • We previously mentioned creating a budget and sticking to it. The primary focus of your budget should be to pay your bills consistently and on time. If you can prove to potential creditors that you have established a steady habit of paying your bills without any late fees, then that will increase your chances of receiving a loan in the future.
  • Get a Credit Card.
    • This may seem like a dangerous notion, especially if credit card debt was a contributor to your bankruptcy filing, but you need to start building your credit. Find a card with a low limit (between $300 and $500) that you can pay back easily. Only use this card if you have money in the bank to pay off any charge you make at the end of the month. Once you are more comfortable in your finances and have regularly paid off your monthly charges, then you can begin thinking about raising your limit.
  • Resist Unnecessary Spending.
    • You may find retail sales calling out your name. People often get excited about the amount they saved on a purchase, but the truth is they would have saved even more had they not made the purchase in the first place. This is not a time for overspending on things you don't need. With every paycheck, make a set cash withdrawal that is your limit for the week or pay period. Leave your cards at home, and use your cash for your weekly spending. Once it's gone, it's gone and you won't overspend. You'll also think more carefully about each purchase you make.

A New Beginning

There is a negative connotation associated with bankruptcy: failure. This is simply not the case. The purpose of bankruptcy is to grant you the opportunity for a fresh start. It may not be easy, but with hard work and determination you can start over again. Here are some tips to help you move forward with this next phase of your life:

  • We All Want Second Chances.
    • How many times in life do we wish we could have a do-over? Bankruptcy is a second chance for your financial standing. Sure, you will have to rebuild many things that you used to have, but by embracing this new opportunity you can travel down a new path while creating strong, smart habits to keep you there.
  • Stay Positive.
    • There are many stories of people who filed bankruptcy, professionally or personally, who were able to make it back with a new mindset. Resolve is imperative, as is an unconquerable positive mindset that will keep you moving forward when life is difficult.
  • Embrace Change.
    • You cannot rebuild your life with the same habits that you had before. To turn it around, embrace the fact that changes must be made, both in lifestyle and old habits. If you are unhappy with your current situation, use that as motivation to help you change your circumstances. It's your time to shine and overcome.

One thing's for certain: you need a bankruptcy attorney that you can trust and that has the experience necessary to protect your interests and help you start anew. If you are going through a divorce and facing bankruptcy near Cleveland or Athens, TN, then do not hesitate to meet with April Randle for a FREE consultation today.